Germany to send troops to Mali to help fight DAESH

German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen announces plan to send up to 650 soldiers to French-led operation against DAESH terrorists in Mali

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen

Germany will send up to 650 soldiers to Mali as part of a peacekeeping mission in the West African country, Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday, where the troops will provide some relief to France against DAESH.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has travelled to Paris for a meeting with President Francois Hollande to address the terror attacks in Paris which left 130 people dead, Von der Leyen made the announcement hours before Angela Merkel’s visit.

"We will and must stand firmly by France's side and do everything we can to help in this situation," von der Leyen said after a parliamentary defence committee meeting.

"We will make a substantial contribution to this mandate. That is why we will soon put a mandate for 650 troops before (the German) parliament."

She also said that German soldiers would focus on exploration and logistics and support the French-led peacekeeping mission in Mali.

Berlin had formerly deployed approximately 10 soldiers to be part of the UN missions. Von der Leyen had discussed increasing the number of the army and said that Germany also planned to raise the number of soldiers training Kurdish Peshmerga forces in Iraq from 100 to 150.

"The French are very pleased that we are boosting our engagement here," she said, adding that if international mission achieves more consistency in Mali. "The French will no longer be so tightly bound to this part of the world."

Merkel said earlier in a speech to parliament that Germany would "stand in solidarity at France's side."

"If further commitments prove necessary, we wouldn't rule it out," she said. 

TRTWorld and agencies